Victories for the YZF-R1 at MotoAmerica Series Debut
The YZF-R1 dazzled during the opening round of the MotoAmerica Series, which saw Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha team’s Josh Hayes and Cameron Beaubier tied for the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship lead after a thrilling double one-two at Circuit of The Americas (COTA).
Despite Saturday’s challenging track conditions during a rain soaked first race, defending Superbike Champion Josh Hayes had a great start off the line and did not relinquish his lead once. Teammate Beaubier was not far behind. Starting from pole, he positioned himself in the top three early on in the race and soon moved up the order. He took second over the line, making it a one-two result for the all-new YZF-R1 on its 2015 MotoAmerica Series debut.
The second race on Sunday was dry and brought even more excitement. The Monster Energy/Graves/Yamaha riders had fans on the edge of their seats when Hayes tried to take the lead from Beaubier in the last turn of the final lap. It was a brave move by the veteran rider, but the youngster wasn’t willing to give up the victory. He quickly shut the door and took his first win of the season with scuffs on his leathers from his teammate’s front tyre.
The MotoAmerica’s Superstock 1000 class also saw some great racing action from Yamaha. The Superstock series races conjointly with Superbike, but this didn’t faze RoadRace Factory/Yamaha rider Jake Gagne. He rode his Superstock YZF-R1 to a win in his class and was fourth overall, leaving all Superbike competitors behind him except for those that stood on the rostrum. On the Superstock podium he was joined by fellow Yamaha rider Tyler O'Hara in third.
Gagne followed up on this success in the second Superstock 1000 race by mirroring the double-podium claimed by the YZF-R1 in the Superbike category. Once again he finished on the top-step, this time with Taylor Knapp Racing’s Taylor Knapp grabbing third.
The MotoAmerica Supersport class had only one race scheduled at COTA on the Saturday, but the Yamalube/Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha Supersport team made sure to make it count. Rider JD Beach didn’t let the difficult moist track conditions catch him out and smoothly rode his Yamaha YZF-R6 to the win, with teammate Garrett Gerloff following in second place.
Yamaha comes away from COTA with two victories and two second places in Superbike, along with two wins and two third places in Superstock 1000 and a one-two in Supersport, leaving the teams in high spirits for round two of the MotoAmerica Series at Road Atlanta this weekend.